This Is The Heartbreaking Reality Of Dating While Going Through A Divorce


I need to be honest with myself, I am miserable in my life.

For over the past two years, there has been an emotional parasite eating me from the inside out. The pain is excruciating as it ebbs and flows like an ocean tide, some days stronger than others, but every day its presence is felt. This past year, I found myself ready to date and I was lucky enough to meet someone I truly connected with, but it was not to be. The dreaded almost-relationship reared its ugly head as emotional unavailability plagued what could have been. I’ve been ghosted, rejected, and broken up with, not necessarily out of the normal for anyone, however, I believe I could have spared myself some emotional trauma and detriment to my ego if I had simply listened to myself and followed the path my heart needed to heal.

While hindsight is always 20/20, I am doing what I can in the present to manage this by trying to find my own truth. That truth is I’ve been using dating as a distraction from the pain of my divorce. The heartache from losing my wife is unequivocal to anything I’ve felt before.

The endless cycle of thoughts constantly ruminating in my head. The what, why, and how that slowly seeps into every fiber of my being, dragging me further into the depths of despair. The screams of suicide penetrating my psyche, warping reality into a mosaic of self-deprecation. I’ve used dating as a way to run away from it all. I’ve used it as a way to validate myself because I hate being alone. I feel “less-than” without somebody who loves me and is by my side. Dealing with this pain, I feel like a hindrance to my friends and family, a 165-pound suitcase of emotional baggage being pulled around and cared for by people who are tired of lugging around this extra weight.

When I begin my routine of dating, the first thought that crosses my mind is “Well, I’ll at least have someone to talk to.” This unfortunately leads down the wormhole to the cesspool that is online dating. Free apps, paid sites, and quasi-free sites that all funnel to beauty contests and relationship resumes. A wonderful place where everyone can describe themselves as “nice, down-to-earth, and fun.” That is until you realize you need to fit their “type” to witness those qualifications. Half of the people on these sites know what they want and what they’re looking for, while the other half is trying to figure out why the fuck they are putting themselves through the torture that is online dating. It all leads to feeling more like shit than I already do, but the hope of finding someone to fill the loneliness in my heart invariably leads me to continue this path.

During my two-year separation and divorce, my heart has yearned for someone to fill this void, even if it’s as simple as someone swiping right, it is validation that someone out there may find me attractive or at the very least someone they can deal with until the “hot guys” reply to them. I’ve found that I am completely content with the attention until the inevitable happens: a return to the ghosting and rejection often associated with this new-age of dating.

I am then simply left where I began: a broken, emotionally-unavailable man still mourning the loss of his first love, best friend, and wife, a man consumed by his own insecurities and inferiority complex.

I am a man who is trying to not repeat this dating cycle again until he has put himself back together and found the inner strength to accept his weaknesses and faults, while becoming the version he always wished he could be.

I’ve taken steps forward; however, I always stumble back to where I began. I am a person simply looking for the right answers to help guide me through this life; to help fight this battle that wages within me. Some days though, like today, I need to remind myself, that I am human, accept defeat and prepare to battle another day.